NHTSA Investigates Elon Musk Tesla Over Suspension Safety In 115K Cars

The NHTSA investigation arrives the same week that Tesla issued a recall for more than 9,500 vehicles over concerns about parts of their roofs flying off and loose bolts messing with the driver’s ability to steer.

NHTSA Investigating Elon Musk Tesla Over Suspension Safety In 115K Cars - SurgeZirc US
NHTSA Investigating Elon Musk Tesla Over Suspension Safety In 115K Cars / Photo credit: Wired UK

Elon Musk’s Tesla vehicles are currently being investigated for possible safety issues by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA on Friday said the issue it’s looking at is with the front suspension system for the 2015-2017 Model S and the 2016-2017 Model X with about 115,000 vehicles affected. The agency has received about 43 complaints claiming failure in the left or right front suspension force links.

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Such a problem can result in a front fore link that doesn’t meet the auto builder’s strength specifications, Tesla said in a 2017 service bulletin, in which case “the driver can still maintain control of the vehicle but the tire may contact the wheel arch liner.”

Some of the failures the NHTSA got complaints about happened while parking, while the rest happened while the cars were in motion.

However, Tesla is still facing a November 20 class-action lawsuit which was filed against it in the U.S. District Court in California over suspension issues in Model S and X vehicles claiming vehicles have defects that can result in the front and rear suspension control arm assembly components prematurely failing.

In June 2016, Tesla denied any safety issues in Model X or Model S suspensions, although acknowledged NHTSA had asked the company to informally provide information about suspensions without opening a formal investigation.

The NHTSA investigation arrives the same week that Tesla issued a recall for more than 9,500 vehicles over concerns about parts of their roofs flying off and loose bolts messing with the driver’s ability to steer.

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It also arrives about a month after Elon Musk Tesla recalled about 30,000 vehicles in China over potential suspension problems, which the company reportedly claimed were caused by “driver abuse” rather than any defect.

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